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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
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Reviews (2,086)
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Reviewed 10 June 2010

My wife and I just got back from the FS with our 2-year-old and we had a blast. We stayed 6 nights in the building closest to Playa Blanca (Room 3306) and could not have asked for anything more. They had toys for our son when we checked in and snacks/candy for him waiting in the room. And many of the staff in the lobby already knew his name, which he loved! The room was on the 3rd floor facing the trees and just beyond that, the ocean (well, the beach with the smaller waves). We were celebrating our 5th Anniversary and there was chilled champagne in the room when we got there. Our first morning we were having breakfast on the porch and saw a family of monkeys swinging through the trees – My son was beyond excited.
The hotel location is perfect. The way it’s laid out in between two very different beaches, we had a lot of options. The “kid’s beach” has a bunch of boats and tons of sand toys for kids to play. There’s really nice beach chairs with shade and the staff is constantly checking to see if they can get you anything. The pools are in between the beaches and they are great too. Staff came around with popsicles each afternoon and would come around with a kit to clean people’s sunglasses. Their attention to detail is top notch – Every single member of the pool staff knew our names and would go above and beyond to put a smile on my son’s face. (And they turned down several attempts I made to tip them!) The other beach is closer to the adult pool and seems more geared toward grown-ups, which is fine since the waves are a little big for smaller kids.
As far as other amenities go, my wife and I really loved the gym/spa. It’s one of the best gyms I’ve seen at a resort – Equipment is brand new and staff is constantly handing you cold towels and water. It’s directly above the Kids For All Seasons, so my wife and I could take turns hitting the gym and playing downstairs with our son (kids have to be 4 at this location before they can be left without a parent). KFAS has pretty much everything a kid could ever want and the staff is there is beyond friendly (they even have kids DVDs you can borrow for your room). We also took full advantage of the Beach Club on two different days (definitely go and check it out if you have time!) There’s a sports bar for lunch, a lap pool, and a bigger pool with a very shallow area that our son loved. The beach there is fun; huge waves and black sand.
We typically never eat at a hotel when we’re on vacation, just to try and get out and see the local area, so I was apprehensive about staying at the FS for most meals. But we really enjoyed all of the restaurants and only “repeated” once at DeMare on the last night. Between the steak restaurant, DeMare, and the other places, we really felt like there was plenty of variety. Also, we didn’t know before we got there, but kids under 5 eat for free, which is a great deal! Pretty much anytime our son wanted a hot dog or an apple juice, it magically appeared from somewhere! There’s live music in Tico’s Lounge every night so it’s a fun stop before/after dinner and draws a decent crowd.
We didn’t take advantage of a lot of the excursions since we were traveling with a toddler, but had a great time on the Trail of Giants tour seeing more monkeys and wildlife (think we had Miguel?) We also went to the marina one day for lunch just to check out the scene. I booked airport transfers through Mainor and Tours Your Way and they could not have been nicer. (Ask for Marlon – my son was still talking about him days later!) The golf course is beyond impressive and I definitely plan on playing a round when we go back.
It wouldn’t be a complete review if I didn’t mention a couple small negatives…. Like prior reviews, I wish they would just include wireless Internet in the rooms. The housekeeping staff was incredible, but skipped our room one night (not a big deal). We would have liked to get a babysitter for one dinner alone, but it was $20 an hour (3 hr minimum) plus their cab fare, so $100 bucks for 3 hours (no thanks). We had a sitter at the FS in Punta Mita who came from the kid’s club and I think it was $12 an hour! And I thought there would be an Ipod speaker/alarm clock like at other FS hotels, but we just had this small, round clock on the bedside table. Again, not a big deal since we weren’t in the room very much.
I’d say this was one of my all-time favorite vacations. It can be a little pricey, but it’s totally worth the expense. Feel free to send me a TA message if you have any questions, I could talk about this hotel any time! Happy Travels!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank Morgan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2010

We thoroughly enjoyed our four night stay (way too short) over Mem Day weekend. We just caught the tail end of the big storm, so the weather was perfect for the most part with some spotty rain. We had a Premium room (2408) with a gorgeous view of the ocean (and we fell asleep to the soothing waves). It was like being in a treehouse minus the bugs (screened in balcony was key). The staff was genuinely happy to help out with anything, which I'm sure can be attributed to the open and friendly nature of Costa Ricans.

The property is secluded and unsurpassed- from the entrance to Papagayo to your choice of two beaches and a few pools. It's not as big as some resorts, but feels more boutique-y. Our fave meal was at Di Mare (screened in patio!) where the chef made us our own custom tasting menu of three pastas and three entrees. If you pick up wine in town, there's a $25 corkage fee, $20 at the beach club. My husband LOVED the golf course which was beautiful and afforded views of the water and some wildlife too. On his second run when he took advantage of the 2pm twilight rates (free club rental in the $120), they let him go out slightly early, and he played by himself with plenty of daylight to spare.

We had one day of adventure, where we went with Rainor from Tours-Your-Way run by Mainor (they are cousins). He was really friendly and the driver, Caesar, was great as well. We did the Hacienda Guachipelin – Adventure Tour. We were picked up early and driven for ~1.5 hrs to one place where we joined about 75 (!) other people for all the activities. Although it might be less expensive to join the same activities by booking directly through the Hacienda Guachipelin, we thought it was worth it to have private transportation there and having Rainor drive the van to meet us during the tour while others were on a schoolbus (there was one other couple w/ us from the 4S). The ziplining was exciting, and the horseback riding was fun, but they really should have limited the number of people allowed to participate (for wait times and safety issues). We literally had to wait for everyone to finish every activity with just a few people working the ropes. Because it had been raining so much, the rapids were very high for tubing and I ended up flipping over and getting dragged on the rocks, resulting in a 3 inch gash on my stomach, several on my elbows and knees, and lots of bruising. We missed the rest of the day (no refund...) and I paid a visit to the doctor at the 4S (great that they have medical attn available- esp if you have kids! It was $100 for a visit, but worth it. Mainor's company also offers transfers from the aiport, but for 2 people it's the same price as using the 4S transport ($80 each way).

The Four Seasons is worth the splurge, and there are lots of free activities (cooking class with Sean Murray, chef of Di Mare, was a highlight, but must sign up early), and kayaks, snorkeling, and mini-catamaran sailing is all complimentary. I highly recommend it!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank worldtravel09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2010

I am a bit of a picky traveler- cleanliness is of utmost importance to me- and I assure you, this place was MARVELOUS. Absolutely perfect. Perfect service. Amazing housekeeping. Great food. Superb location. Before traveling here, one must note that it will be a bit expensive, but I personally believe that the extra money is well worth it. Not one complaint about this hotel. My only complaint about the entire vacation was our stay at the Paradisus. After one night there, we checked out and went back to the Four Seasons!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ATXATX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2010

This is by far one of the nicest hotels we have stayed at as a family. The staff was wonderful and gracious. We stayed in a villa with our own plunge pool and the view was breathtaking.

Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
Thank jepjw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2010

We stayed at the Four Seasons over Memorial Day weekend. The resort setting is beautiful, with beaches on each side of a thin part of the peninsula. The rooms are well furnished and very comfortable. The public areas, pools, and restaurants are highlights. While expensive, we found the food to be excellent, with a wide variety offered at 5 restaurants - we particularly liked Di Mare, the Italian restaurant. Service throughout the resort was first rate, especially on the beach as they set up your chair, offered refreshments and water, and served lunch by the adult quiet pool.

As for activities, we played golf and thoroughly enjoyed the course - great condition, water views from almost every hole, and you can decide how much of a challenge you want based on 5 sets of tees. We also did the Witch's Rock zipline tour, arranged by the concierge, which was a highlight. Beyond that, various members of our family used the spa, the fitness center, water sports, or relaxed on the beach. Also, we rented a car through the hotel and drove to Tamarindo(about 1 1/2 hours) for a day of surfing. All in all, plenty to do for all ages and interests.

BTW, we made our arrangements through Whatahotel, which offered some awesome "freebies" - free daily breakfast, $100 off of golf and an upgrade from a garden to premium room, based on availability. I figure these benefits were worth about $1500/room over the 5 nights we were there.

All in all, a fantastic place for a family vacation.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank yomick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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